Mesoblast announced data from a phase 2/3 trial evaluating remestemcel-L, an allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell product candidate, in ventilator-dependent COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Remestemcel-L consists of culture-expanded mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow of an unrelated donor. It is believed to work by down-regulating the production of proinflammatory cytokines, increasing production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, and enabling recruitment of naturally occurring anti-inflammatory cells to involved tissues.

The randomized, placebo-controlled trial is being conducted at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City. Patients were treated with a variety of experimental agents prior to receiving remestemcel-L. Findings from the study showed 83% survival in ventilator-dependent COVID-19 patients with moderate/severe ARDS (n=10/12) following 2 intravenous infusions of remestemcel-L within the first 5 days; 75% of patients (n=9/12) were able to successfully come off ventilator support at a median of 10 days. There have been 7 patients discharged from the hospital as of now.

Mesoblast Chief Executive Dr. Silviu Itescu stated: “The remarkable clinical outcomes in these critically ill patients continue to underscore the potential benefits of remestemcel-L as an anti-inflammatory agent in cytokine release syndromes associated with high mortality, including acute graft versus host disease and COVID-19 ARDS. We intend to rapidly complete the randomized, placebo-controlled phase 2/3 trial in COVID-19 ARDS patients to rigorously confirm that remestemcel-L improves survival in these critically ill patients.”

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Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration recently accepted for Priority Review the Biologics License Application of remestemcel-L for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft vs host disease. The Company expects to launch remestemcel-L in 2020 if approved.

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